The newly introduced ReGenesis Institute provides a “learning hub” for communities that have been harmed by climate change and toxic pollution

Spartanburg, South Carolina (May 10, 2021) — As the White House unveils its widely anticipated plan for the Justice40 Initiative, the newly formed ReGenesis Institute, which leveraged a $20,000 EPA grant into $300 million in private and public investments for economic development, will announce on May 19 an alliance with frontline communities and financial industry partners to prepare for investments in housing, sustainable manufacturing, clean energy, and public health. …


New research shows fuel-moisture in vegetation across the South Bay at record lows, sparking concerns 2021 could bring more large wildfires

April 14, 2021 (Pescadero, CA) — About 850 goats are chomping down on combustible weeds and brush at TomKat Ranch before California’s wildfire season starts this summer. New research shows vegetation in the South Bay and Santa Cruz Mountains contains record-breaking low moisture levels, causing concerns that the 2021 fire season could be especially grim.

“With some of the worst fires recorded last year, goats are an important eco-friendly tool in our arsenal of fire mitigation strategies,” said Kat…


Abraham Garcia was 14 years old when his mother, Marissa, brought him to pick raspberries in the fields in Salinas after the 2008 financial crisis had devastated their family-owned restaurant. The pay was hardly enough for food, but like other farmworkers, she had no other option to feed her children. Plus, she didn’t want to lose Abraham — as she had lost his father — to gangs and drugs. At first, Abraham was miserable in the fields but while working at a fruit stand, he noticed that customers really enjoyed buying food directly from farmers. He decided to train…


Legislation would recognize that nutritious food is fundamental to learning, increase access to freshly prepared school meals for six million students, and promote California-grown food during the pandemic and beyond

February 10, 2021 — (Sacramento, CA) — At a time when food insecurity has increased dramatically due to the ongoing global pandemic, proposed legislation to provide free school meals for all with increased access to freshly prepared, California-grown items would help to address health and wealth inequities among students, according to a coalition of school nutrition, anti-hunger, and child poverty advocates as well as California ranchers and growers.

Introduced by…


(Left to right) Zolina, Jackie, and Andres manages Urban Tilth’s weekly Free Farm Stand at Unity Park Plaza (Photo Credit: Urban Tilth: Marco Lemus)

By Kat Taylor

November 19, 2020

My six decades have taken me many places. As a philanthropist, I have wrestled with grant making that addresses the symptoms but not the root causes of societal ills. As co-founder and former CEO of a mission-driven community bank, I worked to finance a better world by prioritizing lending for social and environmental impact and changing the banking system for good. As an impact investor, I worked with colleagues to create 10 venture funds to try to change the allocation of startup funding. As a food producer and advocate, I have fought for greater…


We all remember when COVID-19 changed everything. We remember the sudden and extreme ways it touched even the most fundamental aspects like space, communication, and human relationships. We are still living these changes. I remember a Black businessman warning me of the new forms of privilege that could arise in COVID responses. I also remember the moment when a lot more people began raising their voices in acknowledgment of how injustice and weakness in our country’s major systems prevent us from coping with any crisis. One such voice lamented, “how is it that when we buy only what we…


Public schools provide students with Grab-and-Go Meals during COVID-19.

Sept. 22, 2020 (Sacramento) — Governor Gavin Newsom on Friday approved additional funding for emergency school meals, giving local school districts more certainty as they feed students during distance learning. With 97% of students learning from home because of the pandemic, the Center for Ecoliteracy, the Office of Kat Taylor and NextGen California have responded to this new reality by advocating to provide communities funding and flexibility as they navigate the new challenges of providing meals to children.

“We applaud California’s leaders for recognizing school food service workers who are going above and beyond to feed hungry children while also…


Serves as Model for States to Protect Consumers

Sept.1, 2020 (Sacramento) — California legislators approved a landmark bill on Monday that will protect consumers and small businesses by enforcing laws prohibiting financial companies from engaging in unfair, abusive, and deceptive practices. If AB 1864 is signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom, California will have its own well-equipped financial watchdog that can serve as a model for other states to create robust consumer protection agencies of their own.

“This is an important step forward for protecting Californians in the financial marketplace,” said Richard Cordray, former director of the Consumer Financial…


Rebecca Silva and her grandchildren pick up lunch via the National School Lunch Program Seamless Summer Option in San Antonio, TX.

USDA Extends Free Meals for Kids Through December 31, 2020

August 31, 2020 (Sacramento) — California public school districts received welcome news on Monday, after state lawmakers approved additional funding for emergency school meals. In the same vein, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently heeded calls from school food service advocates across the country, and extended important waivers which give schools the flexibility to serve free meals to all children throughout the fall.

About 97% of California students are starting the school year with distance learning. The Center for Ecoliteracy and the Office of Kat Taylor have responded to…


California Set to Approve $80M for School Meals

California’s lawmakers are poised to approve an additional $80 million for school meals at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic, a heatwave, power outages and fires are forcing disruptions to education and daily life. The Center for Ecoliteracy and the Office of Kat Taylor commend California’s legislators for responding to their constituents and moving swiftly to support essential school meals for millions of California students.

“Many California school meal programs ended the school year millions of dollars in the red, so the additional $80 million is a much-needed lifeline,” said Kat Taylor, Founder of TomKat Ranch Educational Foundation. …

Kat Taylor

Impact Investor, Co-Founder and Board Chair of Beneficial State Bank and Co-Founder of TomKat Ranch Educational Foundation

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